Rorate Caeli

SSPX-Rome divinations

From Jean-Marie Guénois for Le Figaro (June 15, main excerpt, with our emphases):

Bp. Fellay, Superior of the Society of Saint Pius X, will consult his General Chapter in July before responding to the Pope. Between Rome and Écône, things get more detailed but more complicated at the same time. Bp. Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Society of Saint Pius X, came back to Menzingen (Switzerland), its admistrative center, on Thursday, with a Roman dossier that is heavier than what had been foreseen. From which, the first information: the signature of an agreement with the Holy See is not for tomorrow. Both in the proper and in the figurative sense. It is now certain that Bp. Fellay will not be able to give a response to these last Roman proposals before the end of the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X, that will take place in [Écône,] Switzerland on July 7-14. 

Contrary to certain rumors, this meeting will not see the calling into question of Bp. Fellay from his position of Superior: he is in the middle of a twelve-year term. But capital decisions will certainly be taken: to continue negotiations? To suspend them? To discontinue them? Or to continue [reaching out to] this outstretched hand of Benedict XVI, who wishes to see the disciples of Abp. Marcel Lefebvre reintegrate into the Catholic Church? In expectation, as seen from Rome, the ball is on the Lefebvrists's field. And they are divided on the subject. 

From an article by Summorum Pontificum Observatus, whose handling of the initial publication of the correspondence of the SSPX bishops partly sparked the current mess (June 15, main excerpt, with our emphases):


When everything seemed ready for a final agreement between the Holy See and the Fraternity of St. Pius X, Bp. Fellay, its Superior General, returned to Menzingen this Thursday with a new document in hand. According to several sources, it is assured that this document does not correspond to the one that had been expected, and that several important modifications had been added to it. From the Roman side, three people met with the Superior of the Society of St. Pius X, Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mgr. Pozzo, secretary of the Commission Ecclesia Dei, and Abp. Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, SJ, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who would have played a part that one day will have to be taken into consideration. In this state, Bishop Fellay could not sign the "doctrinally modified" document, leading to the postponement announced in both communiqués, that of the Holy See followed by one of the Society of Saint Pius X for an external [audience].

Several serious vaticanists had announced the final agreement as certain [before the June 13 meeting] and, for this time perhaps, there was no exaggeration on their part. But it might be that there was a crisis at the very heart of the Curia, even if at present there is no evidence to seriously confirm this. From his side, faithful to the line he has chosen, determined to abdicate nothing doctrinally (and it would seem that the difficulties of a doctrinal order have been added at the last moment), Bp. Fellay will continue his reflection and his consultation, within the frame of the General Chapter and certainly more widely. It is currently clear that the response will take time and that time, either in a positive or in a negative sense, will also play its part. 


Both articles should be taken with a large amount of salt. We in Rorate, in the analysis of all aspects of the situation, somewhat agree, though, that something happened in the Curia. Is the will of the Pope being distorted? Did he himself change his mind from a specific moment in the recent past to the present? This is the key to what may have happened within the Palace of the Holy Office in the days that led to the June 13 meeting. The influence and eventual pressure of the Cardinals and Bishops who attended the crucial Wednesday (Feria IV) meeting of May 16, or the action of some episcopal conferences, should not be discounted either.

46 comments:

New Catholic said...

Ferraiuolo, we have absolutely no evidence that there is any truth to that, so please do not insist, thanks.

NC

ubaldus said...

The Church must wait for the fruit that will result by recognizing her faithful children.

Scott Quinn said...

Hmm, not a good sign, and one that plays right into the hands of those who do not wish to see a reconciliation.

Prof. Basto said...

To know wether or not the Pontifical Will is being twisted one just needs to phone Mons. Georg Gänswein and then ask to speak with the Pope. I'm confident that he would not refuse to take Bishop Fellay's call.

Now, it may be that Mons Fellay wishes to proceed only after the upcoming General Chapter as a means of uniting the Society. The General Chapter, after all, is the wider deliberative instance of the SSPX.

I'm just not excited about the fact that the Chapter will conclude on a 14 of July.

As for the rumors about the Pope having changing his mind, or about a crisis in the Curia, athough it is difficult (and for me it is), we must try to be patient, even if we do not know the facts.

All this secret diplomacy makes one very anxious.

And I cannot avoid the feeling that, if the Pope summoned Mons Fellay and other SSPX representatives to direct talks with him at Castel Gandolfo, a final "yes" or "no" position and a final text of the Doctrinal declaration could be arrived at during a weekend, if long work hours were dedicated to the direct talks.

Instead, we have this never ending back and forth of documents.

St. Michael the Archangel's supplicant said...

Considering the sources of these two articles as Non-official statements, it is a boone to behold calm, non-derogatory remarks toward the SSPX with simple assessments of the situation.

These particular words are an honorable presentation of the situation revealing patient, prudent discretion: "Bp. Fellay will continue his reflection and his consultation, within the frame of the General Chapter and certainly more widely. It is currently clear that the response will take time. . ."

DIVINE PROVIDENCE DEMANDS TIME FOR MORE PRAYER and SACRIFICE. These types of press releases devoid of sensationalism tactics are beneficial.

May St. Michael the Archangel surround the Sovereign Pontiff and H.E. Bishop Fellay with his valiant angelic assistance, escorting them with the Queen of the Angels to her Son's Apocalyptic Throne that they may behold all things from His perspective.

Gratias said...

Very sad news. They should have accepted the Pope's offer long ago. The leaked internal SSPX letters did their damage. Further delays make regularization less likely. The General Chapter of SSPX will be a mess.

Ceolfrid said...

I concur with Prof. Basto: the problem is probably that there are middle-men involved. The Pope should just cut to the chase with Bp. Fellay, one-on-one.

Ceolfrid said...

What I did not realise, was that there was a "no-strings-attached" offer to the Society back in 2000. That's the one they should've taken.

peterman said...

Okay, hopefully this extra time is used to cross out that part about having to get the local bishop's approval before expansion into a diocese.

NIANTIC said...

Eventhough we do not have the facts available, it may very well be that it is the "middle men" who are the obstacles. By that I mean Cardinal Levada et all. They may well be actively trying to torpedo any "reconsiliation". I just cannot believe or accept that our Holy Father would be changing his mind from one day to the next. The power of the Curia officials is very great and they have plenty ways of being obstructionists. No, friends, the war is on. Power and politics do have a great negative influence also in the Vatican. The last place one would supect there to be men in high places who exhibit no Christian attitude whatever. Very sad, but very real I am afraid.
At least, because of that, H.E.Bishop Fellay will have more time for needed consultation, prayer and reflection. Like I have said before, except for the Holy Father, the Society would be walking into a lions den in which there does not seem to be much Christian love or charity. I am convinced that God's Will will ultimately be done, whether it is sooner or later. I wish I had the power to sweep out the smelly stable in the Curia.
I also wish our Holy Father would just make an official statement informing all and sundry that the Society is Catholic, Faithful and her Masses and Sacraments are valid everywhere and retroactive to her founding date. Oremus.

Tradical said...

Well the Champagne is chilled and I'm still opening the bottle.

Why?

Because eventually this will be resolved. (Stockdale paradox).

In the meantime, I am going to start pondering strategies for Catholic Action.

Bartholomew said...

IF the Curial Cardinals have engineered a commandeering of the process, it is a window into the difficulties that the SSPX would would encounter with the local bishops should the final canonical structure be a Personal Prelature. The situation may deteriorate further upon the death of this Pope. Bishop Fellay could well use the Curial obstructionism to bolster an argument against any canonical form which would place the SSPX under the local Ordinaries.

I'm praying that Bishop Fellay and the Pope sit down together at Castel Gandolfo and hammer out an agreement. But I doubt that very much. That is not Papa Ratzinger's style; however neither should we minimize the power of grace.

Uncle Claibourne said...

You're right, New Catholic; we certainly don't have enough information to draw any reasonable conclusions. But I can't help but fear that the obstructionists on both sides have done their work, and they have done it well.

When one surveys not only the Church, but the whole world as well, Satan seems to be having his greatest "hour" since the Crucifixion. Politics. Economics. Culture. Finance. Even the Church herself. All in the grip of demonic inversion.

Perhaps there is more that the Lord is expecting us to do, that we have not yet done.

Brian said...

I am glad to see this delay and that Bishop Fellay will consult with the other bishops at the General Chapter.

My hope would be that the SSPX could provide a more precise articulation of what is meant by "errors in the Council" without using the ambiguous term, "error," which the Pope found objectionable. I would trust that their doing so will assist our Holy Father to clarify the nature of allowable dissent from the Council documents.

If the process of this doctrinal discussion takes some time, and even goes back and forth a few more times, it is worth the wait; and will serve to demonstrate further that the SSPX priests and bishops are loyal sons of the Church.

If, in addition, the delay helps to preserve the unity of the SSPX while working toward a gradual clarification of their place in the Church, then God be praised.

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

Bp Fellay would likely have to have consulted the General Chapter regardless, he could not have taken such a decision solo, especially not considering the splits and controversy within the society itself. That said this nonsense has gone on for quite long enough and the longer this ball bouncing goes on, the longer opponents of the deal have to spread their views and the more panicked people become.

Fred said...

Idle media gossip based on the anticipated "heaviness" of a package makes as much sense as trying to guess your college acceptance based on the thickness of the envelope. Take a deep breath folks...

misericordia said...

Bishop Fellay must be saddened by the discord within the Society.He must be hoping that any agreement with Rome will not be at the expense of a fractured Society.
Perhaps he has now been given proposals that he feels may be more acceptable to those who have had serious reservations to date. In this case he will want discussions with the other leaders of the SSPX and maybe a united agreement can be reached.
This would be worth waiting for!

Francis said...

Levada, Bertone, Schonborn, they among others inside the Church are the ones IMO who are dragging this on with their "modifications" because they do not want an agreement with the SSPX, or traditional Catholicism in general. Of course outside forces are doing all that they can to derail this agreement also. We all know who they are. Not to mention the fact that the FSSPX, according to leaked sources, is in a civil war of their own. Of course the media being the media we have to take alot of this with a grain of salt, but there's no doubt that forces inside and outside of the Catholic Church are putting pressure on Pope Benedict XVI to make sure that the SSPX convert to the relativist, indifferentist and syncretist spirit of Vatican II and to the NWO before any agreement is signed, not only for the reasons that i've mentioned above, but also so modernist Rome can save face.

Rick DeLano said...

It may take some time.

That is fine, as long as (what appears to be the case) the actual, doctrinal and dogmatic issues at stake are being fully and carefully defined and examined.

Even if- God forbid!- the reconciliation should founder for now, the outcome of these exchanges will yield profoundly important benefits for Catholics.

Suddenly doctrinal precision and clarity are the order of the day again in Rome.

I thank Pope Benedict XVI for His courage and steadfastness in bringing this recently-unimaginable state of affairs into being.

I hope a deal can be reached, and I am grateful to the SSPX, and especially Bishop Fellay, for having raised these questions, at last, to the highest level of consideration they have received since the Council.

The purification of memory has begun.

Uncle Claibourne said...

I too am afraid that the will of the Holy Father is being "distorted" by the "middle-men." Bishop Fellay and Fr. Pfluger have both said in the recent past that official communucations have come to them via Curial channels, which direct collaborators of the Pope immediately told them to file in the wastebasket.

Both the Holy Father and Bishop Fellay are trying to do the right thing; both are being undermined at every turn by their own subordinates. Pride, not faith, seems to rule on all sides.

Jack O'Malley said...

Diese Sache ist wohl im Eimer.

Erik said...

You're all wasting your time. Wait for Bishop Fellay's response. Pray. Patience is what is called for -- not all this speculation and intrigue about possible this or possible that.

Uncle Claibourne said...

Erik, patience and speculation are not always mutually exclusive. :)

But I do agree. As I mentioned above, it seems the good Lord is asking us to do more praying.

backtothefuture said...

Just keep praying, and pray that Gods will be done.

Matt said...

"[+Fellay] returned to Menzingen this Thursday with a new document in hand. According to several sources, it is assured this document does not correspond to the one which had been expected, and that several important modifications had been added to it."

Gee, isn't that a shocker?!

RC said, "In the analysis of all aspects of the situation, somewhat agree, though, that something happened in the Curia. Is the will of the Pope being distorted? Did he himself change his mind from a specific moment in the recent past to the present? This is the key to what may have happened within the Palace of the Holy Office in the days that led to the June 13 meeting. The influence and eventual pressure of the Cardinals and Bishops who attended the crucial Wednesday (Feria IV) meeting of May 16, or the action of some episcopal conferences, should not be discounted either."

Yes. something did happen, and what was it and who was behind it?

To come this far and this close and get some last-minute sand thrown in the gears, IMO, is dastardly. One can only come to the conclusion something great was about to happen and some liberal weasle just couldn't pass up the opportunity to assert yet one more Vatican II spaz about it. Pity.

To his benefit of the doubt, I don't think this is the Holy Father's doing, nor the Society's (whom has been playing it straight all along). It couldn't be. If the Holy Father really wants this reunion, then why throw an obstacle in the works at this last minute and cause everyone--the SSPX mostly--to slam on the brakes, lead them down a dead-end street?

!

Matt said...

RC put forth a few sobering questions as I, too, believe something happened in the Curia.

"1. Is the will of the Pope being distorted?

2. Did the Pope himself change his mind from a specific moment in the recent past to the present?

3. The influence and eventual pressure of the Cardinals and Bishops who attended the crucial Wednesday (Feria IV) meeting of May 16, or the action of some episcopal conferences, should not be discounted either.
"


Just a proposition.

If 1 is true, then Holy Father does not have command of his own Curia. It's a fact we would have to come to terms with. How could something like this "distorition" come about and the Holy Father not know of it? Was he lied to and told this "insertion" was about something else, all the while letting +Fellay think it came from the Holy Father himself?

If 2 is true, then one has to wonder how much the Holy Father really wants this reunion to occur.

If 3 is true, and I don't doubt there are prelatial whiners and gaspers in the bunch, then it means the Holy Father is weak and unable to make his own decisions, especially where crucial Ecclesial matters such as this reunion are concerned. There comes a point in most Popes' Pontificates where he must make a decision about something and self-assert it according to the Papal Prerogative because he is the Pope and with the power to do so. Consulting with one or two close advisors is expected and wise, but to become timorous from the very people who serve at HIS pleasure, then it is weakness, whether by doubt or by personality this is so, the result is the same. The Barque of Peter is adrift. It means the right amount of whining and nagging means it can get the Holy Father to do just about anything. For those in the Curia to create such a last-minute obstacle, if true, is more than nefarious. It's hatred!

These are just my opinions based upon the curious scenarios given. It's not meant to cast any negativity on the Holy Father.

!

Scott Quinn said...

Matt, I think you nailed it!

A child of the Eternal Father said...

To Uncle Claibourne:

Your words again reveal that Our Father is calling you to His Throne to see these events from His perspective.

"When one surveys not only the Church, but the whole world as well, Satan seems to be having his greatest "hour" since the Crucifixion. Politics. Economics. Culture. Finance. Even the Church herself. All in the grip of demonic inversion.

Perhaps there is more that the Lord is expecting us to do, that we have not yet done."

We are indeed, irreversibly in increasingly dramatic times of the Apocalypse.

Please continue to respond to all the graces you are receiving as Our Lord Himself gives you into the safeguarding awareness of Our Father's Paternal Presence: "no one knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither doth anyone know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him." Matt 11:27.

Tradical said...

There is a silver lining to all this.

The response is to the Doctrinal Declaration made by the SSPX.

We may yet have a Doctrinal solution before regularization.


Prayer
Penance
Patience

P^3

Scott Quinn said...

Ouch. This is a painful article to read, and about half way through it descends into mere opinion, but it paints a picture of a fractured Curia and a pope who does not appear to be up to the challenges required to manage effectively. I feel badly for Pope Benedict. I think it makes sense for Bishop Fellay to take a slower course.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/pope-benedict-focuses-on-legacy-while-ignoring-vatican-power-struggle-a-838830.html

JabbaPapa said...

Both of those articles strike me as being highly speculative collections of ifs and maybes -- which is quite typical of a certain kind of French commentary, but can translate very poorly if the related sous-entendus are misunderstood --- in this case, the sous-entendus are that the authors are not actually claiming to have any special insight as to what's really going on, and that their own articles should be handled with care.

Really though -- simply comparing with the facts, we know that the Holy See provided, additionally to the matter of the doctrinal preamble, a specific (and I would imagine, detailed) proposal of a personal prelature for the SSPX.

This is quite sufficient in and of itself to explain "a Roman dossier that is heavier than what had been foreseen", without needing to refer to je ne sais quels bizarre Curial antics.

St. Anthony, Hammer of Heretics, pray for us said...

A number of SSPX faithful have been praying to Our Lady to preserve the SSPX as a sign of contradiction, and to save it from being put under the control of the modernists. Perhaps she has heard our prayers?

The Postmodernist said...

As expected, this endeavor will take a little longer. We kept praying for God's will be done, and now it has been revealed He has something different in mind (obviously different than the assumed May or June ultimatum.) There is something in store for us all and to my belief it would be favorable to the Church. Keep praying...

Gratias said...

JabbaPapa makes an important point: " Really though -- simply comparing with the facts, we know that the Holy See provided, additionally to the matter of the doctrinal preamble, a specific (and I would imagine, detailed) proposal of a personal prelature for the SSPX."

A detailed proposal for the personal premature will require study, including discussion at the SSPX General Chapter. Pity, the idea of having the doctrinal preamble first and the premature afterwards had the advantage that once the preamble was accepted they were in.

These delays come against the backdrop of the start of Year of Faith on October. It marks the 50th anniversary from the opening of V2 so it is Benedict XVI's offering to the Novus Ordo. The closer reconciliation comes to October the less likely it will be. The enemies if tradition are gaining valuable time to place a spanner in the works.

Pray for the health of the Pope.

asshur said...

@Scott Quinn
Der Spiegel suffers, since ever, from a long and deep anti-Roman bias.
(Political stance apart) it is one of of the best european periodicals, but its coverage of the Church is a dark spot, always to be taken with a grain -or a kilo- of salt

P.K.T.P. said...

JabaPappa:

The text for a proposed canonical solution should not take very many pages and, remember, this structure had been decided upon (as a proposal) before. So I don't think that that's it.

What is supposedly in the dossier is the Pope's "evaluation" of Bishop Fellay's April response.

P.K.T.P.

Imrahil said...

Dear @Prof. Basto,

the Chapter apparently will begin on...

on...

the first jubilee-like anniversary (that is the fifth) of the promulgation of the Motuproprio Summorum Pontificum.

JMJ Ora Pro Nobis said...

If the regularisation of the SSPX does not come about due to the pressure of the Curia it was never going to come about and moreover should never have come about. Better that the deal fails altogether than that the SSPX is ruined a few months or years down the line because pressure in the Curia causes another change and really if the Pope cannot stand up to a few malcontents in the Curia, one has to wonder whether there was ever any real chance of a deal in the first place.

Tom said...

Erik said... You're all wasting your time. Wait for Bishop Fellay's response. Pray. Patience is what is called for -- not all this speculation and intrigue about possible this or possible that."

Correct.

In regard to Rome-SSPX discussions, Bishop Fellay urged us to heed offical statements only.

But posters here and elsewhere have issued "guaranteed" dates upon which the Holy Father was supposed to have regularized the Society.

"The Pope loves symbolic dates.

"Therefore, I guarantee that he will regularize the Society on...."

It is laughable that everybody from blog posters to news media types have pretended to have possessed insights into Bishop Fellay's behind-closed-doors discussions with Rome.

Amazing.

Tom

Fr Joseph Taylor said...

SSPX must not be divided. It is better for the discussions with Rome to be postponed for a period of time. Divide and conquer MUST be avoided Pastor Emeritus

P.K.T.P. said...

Tom:

You are wrong. It is true that the Pope makes major enactments on symbolic dates. This is based not on speculation but on clear evidence. Examples include the following: S.P., U.E., the lifting of the excommunications, the erecting of the Campos structure. It is likely that a major event such as this will also fall on a symbolic date.

However, it will not be *any* symbolic date but one after which the problems have been solved. For example, were Bishop Fellay officially to accept the Pope's evaluation next week, the Pope might sign a document on the Vigil of SS. Peter and Paul and then publish it on Monday, 2nd July, the 24th anniversary of Ecclesia Dei, when the rift was declared (1988).

If Fellay does not make a statement next week, however, not after 7 to 10 days as originally stated but after the Chapter meeting, then, obviously, the symbolic date will be something else. Your analysis has merit but lacks the needed nuancing.

P.K.T.P.

P.K.T.P. said...

One question, by the way. Shortly after the meeting, a Scciety spokesman said that Bishop Fellay would respond in seven to ten days. Later, someone else said that he would not respond until after the Chapter meeting. Who was the second source?

P.K.T.P.

Cruise the Groove. said...

While we wait "patiently" for a resolution to this matter and "postpone" it to a later date souls are still being lost and profane communions are being recieved because the Society has doubtful validity confessions.

Jean Francois said...

A number of SSPX faithful have been praying to Our Lady to preserve the SSPX as a sign of contradiction, and to save it from being put under the control of the modernists. Perhaps she has heard our prayers?

that seems to be the anti-thesis of the Blessed Mother and everything she is about. She would never bring such a prayer to her Son. Rather pray to bring about the conversion of those who obstruct the unity of the Church.

Carl said...

Back and forth and delays of several days and even weeks at a time are very healthy. It allows for better internal consultation on both sides and can only help create a stronger agreement that respects the concerns of all parties and fosters shared expectations and greater unity in the Church.

Longer delays, however, worry me a great deal. The Holy Father is 85 and it cannot be assumed - and it is actually rather doubtful - that his successor will bring as much knowledge of the situation and as great a desire to see reconciliation accomplished. The next pope is likely to be more conservative and traditional than Paul VI or John Paul II - there certainly seems to be a strong momentum in an increasingly positive direction - but unless the reconciliation happens under this pope, I don't think SSPX will be able to serve as efficiently in restoring tradition. The crisis in the Church will linger on longer for the failure.

All this is to say that I hope both parties avoid hastiness even while they recognize that the clock is ticking. Using hours, days and weeks to hammer out a sounder agreement is good, letting weeks and months slip by unproductively is a very, very bad thing. For our part, I think we should direct our prayers at this point to the Lord to grant that both sides make PRODUCTIVE USE of this crucially important time.

Hidden One said...

Never assume. Always pray. Waste neither time nor words with speculation.